View Full Version : Making your own handprint ornaments

Jen in Chicago
11-13-2003, 09:43 AM
When we were little each year we made salt dough ornaments. I am going to need Mom to pull out the recipe for me. Do you think these would work for handprints? I was thinking of making them to go on Christmas packages for family.

11-13-2003, 12:36 PM
I'd be curious to hear the answer to this too, and find out the recipe. I've been considering this since I saw a catalog that had gingerbread mix for handprints and DH said I could make this. But I want something that will last. Gingerbread would smell awfully yummy! And they had applesauce and cinnamon too I think.

11-14-2003, 12:12 AM
I was planning on making some hand/foot print ornaments too! I've been debating on whether I am going to do hand prints as in a hand pressed into the dough, or a painted hand "stamped" on the dough. Perhaps I'll do a combination of the two--painted hand pressed into the dough? May have to do a couple trial runs to see what comes out best. The real test will be getting DD to let me press her hand into the dough period! :)

Here's the recipe I always use:

Salt Dough
1 cup salt
1 cup flour
aprox. 1/2 cup water
(More flour = softer dough; More salt = more grainy dough; Add wallpaper paste for a more cohesive dough)

Bake in a 250(F) degree oven for approx. 2-2 1/2 hours.

Edited to note: Don't add wallpaper paste if you're going to put your little one's hands in it (or let them play with it); some wallpaper pastes contain chemicals that shouldn't be in contact with skin (or eaten...I used to eat salt dough...I admit it! :P )


Annalia 03/03/03

Jen in Chicago
11-14-2003, 09:51 AM
Thank you for posting this! I was going to have to dig around to find it. We never added paste when growing up.

We LOVED making Cookie Monsters using the Garlic Press.

11-15-2003, 04:34 PM
Novice question from a non crafter:

So, you just mix up the salt, flour and water and form a ball and then bake? Or mix it up and then press the hand in it and then bake it? Would you roll it out and make it thin, put the hand print and then you would cut around it into an ornament shape?

I should probably swing over to Martha Stewart and see if there are instructions too....

TIA from the novice

11-15-2003, 10:07 PM
Mix up the salt and flour, and then slowly stir in the water while mixing, until it forms dough. (I personally use a 1 cup salt/2 cup flour/1/2 cup water ratio, because I like the dough to be soft, but it can tend to split a bit easier with more flour.)

Design the ornaments however you want by rolling out the dough or you can shape and mold things to make more three-dimensional pieces. Just remember, the thinner it is, the faster it will bake and dry. You don't always have to get the pieces 100% dry in the oven--salt dough does dry on it's own just by sitting out in the air, but it takes a LOT longer. Also, if you make really thin items, keep an eye on them while baking to make sure they don't over dry and burn.

After the items have dried--and you will see if there are areas that aren't dry, because they will have a slightly darker doughy look to them (I usually bake mine and then let them air dry for a couple days just to make sure they're dry)--you can paint them with most paints, like acrylic. After the paint has dried, spray a coat of clear sealer on them to protect the paint.

As for the design of the hand print ornaments, it's really a matter of personal preference. I'll probably roll out the dough and stamp out circle or heart shapes and then press DD's hand in the middle. After that I'll punch a hole in the top and bake them. When dry, I'll add DD's name, date, etc. in the extra space around her handprint with a paint pen.

HTH! Let me know if you have any other questions! :)

Annalia 03/03/03

11-23-2003, 12:49 PM
My parents recently brought all my boxes (and boxes and boxes...) of toys and childhood items down so I could have them in my own house instead of taking up room in their's (every parent's goal I think).

I've been sorting through all those boxes, and yesterday I came across a salt dough butterfly that I'd made many years ago in my Girl Scout days. Or should I say the remains of a salt dough butterfly? I made the thing probably a good 15-20 years ago, and lets just say that if I didn't have a memory of making it, I wouldn't have been able to tell what the thing was. It was basically a crumbly, deteriorated rock. It took me a minute to even realize what it was, and that's after I talked myself into actually touching it!

So, that said, I'm seriously rethinking the concept of using salt dough for making any type of keepsake ornaments. I wanted to alert you all to the potential longevity issues about using salt dough for making a keepsake item. I'm kind of glad I came across that old ornament before I made anything! I think I'll be checking out some other options before deciding what to go with.


Annalia 03/03/03